Richard J. Thomas
Mr. Thomas received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. He has been practicing law for more than 30 years, and is a founding partner of Burke & Thomas, PLLP.
Mr. Thomas is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was a 2003 President’s Award Winner as selected by the Minnesota State Bar Association. In 2002, Minnesota Lawyer selected Mr. Thomas as one of its “Lawyers of the Year” and the Defense Research Institute awarded him the State Leadership Award. Mr. Thomas has been selected a “Super Lawyer” every year since 1999. The areas of selection have included alternative dispute resolution, litigation, personal injury and professional liability defense. He was also named a Top 40 selection in ADR in Minnesota in 2002. He received the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association’s 1991 President’s Award.
Mr. Thomas is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education seminars.
In his spare time, he enjoys listening to his extensive collection of blues guitar recordings.
SIGNIFICANT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS
- Voted a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates in October, 2006.
- Selected as one of Minnesota State Bar Association’s 2003 President’s Award winners.
- Selected as the “Member of the Month” for March 2003 in DRI’s national magazine, For the Defense.
- Selected as one of the twelve “Lawyers of the Year” in Minnesota for 2002 by Minnesota Lawyer.
- Chosen Super Lawyer for the years 1999-2013; this award is given to the top five percent of attorneys in the State of Minnesota. Areas of selection have included alternative dispute resolution, litigation, personal injury and professional liability defense.
- Named as one of the top 40 ADR professionals in Minnesota in 2002.
- Recipient of the MDLA “President’s Award” – 1991 for “uncommon diligence and commitment to the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association over many years”; special recognition by MDLA in 1996 “for the generous sharing of your time, energy and skills in helping MDLA achieve its professional goals”; Exceptional Performance Citation from DRI in 1998 “for having supported and improved the standards and education of the defense bar, and for having contributed to the improvement of the administration of justice in the public interest.”
- Past President of the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
- Ranked number 4 in class at graduation from William Mitchell College of Law; recipient of American Jurisprudence Award presented by Bancroft-Whitney/Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company for “Excellent Achievement in the Study of Constitutional Law,” “Excellent Achievement in the Study of Bankruptcy Law,” and for “Excellent Achievement in the Study of Insurance Law”; recipient of “Hornbook Award: for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement” presented by West Publishing Company to the number one ranked student (end of third year).
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Insurance Defense
- Legal Malpractice Defense
- Medical Malpractice Defense
- Insurance Coverage
- Legal, Judicial and Medical Board, Licensing and Regulatory Matters
- Tax and Fiduciary Litigation
- Plaintiff’s Wrongful Death and Personal Injury
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1996
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1982
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1982
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2006
- U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 2010
- Minnesota, 1982
- Wisconsin, 1988
- Iowa, 2002
- U.S. Tax Court, 1997
- William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, Minnesota: J.D. (Cum Laude) – 1982
- University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota: B.A. | Major: Journalism/English
- “Plaintiff’s Expert: Obtaining an Order to Compel His Deposition”, Minnesota Defense
- “No-Fault Independent Medical Examinations: Purpose, Timing & Impact”, 24 William Mitchell Law Review 1045, 1998
- “Changes to Rule 68 Greatly Favor Plaintiffs,” Co-Author, Minnesota Defense
- Staab v. Diocese of St. Cloud, 813 N.W.2d 68 (Minn. 2012) (amicus brief on behalf of the MDLA)
- Schmitz v. Rinke-Noonan, 783 N.W.2d 733 (Minn. App. 2010)
- Alexandra House, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 419 N.W.2d 506 (Minn.App. 1988)
- Hickman v. Group Health Plan, Inc., 396 N.W.2d 10 (Minn. 1986)
- Crenshaw v. St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center, 379 N.W.2d 720 (Minn.App. 1986)
- Reinhardt v. Colton, 337 N.W.2d 88 (Minn. 1983)
- American Nat. Bank and Trust Co. v. Young, 329 N.W.2d 805 (Minn. 1983)
- Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
- MMIC Group, Inc.
- Health Partners
- Attorneys Liability Protection Society
- Travelers Insurance Company
- Minnesota Joint Underwriters Association
- Mayo Clinic
CLASSES AND SEMINARS
- Frequent Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education Seminars
HONORS AND AWARDS
- Member, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2006
- President’s Award Winner, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2003
- Minnesota Lawyer selected as one of twelve “Lawyers of the Year” , 2002
- State Leadership Award by Defense Research Institute
- “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law and Politics, 1999 – 2013
- Named a Top 40 selection in ADR in Minnesota, 2002
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association’s 1991 President’s Award
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, Insurance for Members Committee
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, Legislative Committee
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, Assembly
- Ramsey County Bar Association
- Wisconsin Bar Association
- Iowa Bar Association
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Minnesota Chapter
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Co-Chairman, Law Improvement Committee
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Chairman, Justpac, 1990 – 2000
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Treasurer, 1994 – 1995
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Secretary, 1995 – 1996
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Vice President, 1996 – 1997
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, President, 1997 – 1998
- Defense Research Institute, Minnesota State Representative
- Defense Research Institute, Member, Small Law Firm Committee
- Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Claims Committee, Member
PAST EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS
- Geraghty, O’Loughlin & Kenney, Partner, 1980 – 1996
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, 1978 – 1980